Veterinary providers experience job-specific psychological stress from their dual role in both providing medical care to pets and supporting pet-owner clients through end-of-life care and the euthanasia process, contributing to compassion fatigue and burnout in the field. COVID-19 has impacted the provision of veterinary care and affected communication between providers and pet owners. This qualitative study explores the experiences of veterinary providers who provided end-of- life care and performed euthanasia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants for this qualitative study were recruited and interviewed using criterion sampling from four veterinary practices in the northeastern United States. Inductive thematic analysis was used to interpret the data collected. Significant findings include: veterinary staff are overwhelmed by the spike in animal care due to increased pet ownership during COVID-19, changes in provision of care have created additional stressors in veterinary medicine, veterinary providers feel “emotionally distanced” from their clients, and veterinary providers recognize a need for increased mental health support in the field.
Chalmers, Elizabeth; Gerstenblatt, Paula; and Hodgdon, River
"The COVID Whirlwind on the Veterinary World: End-of-life Care and Euthanasia During the COVID-19 Pandemic,"
People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice: Vol. 6
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/paij/vol6/iss1/7